Graduate Theological Union

Dialogue and Learning

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Spiritual Other/Spiritual Self: Models of Transformative Interfaith Work - Surjit Singh Lecture 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 7:00pm

Jennifer Howe Peace (Ph.D. '05)
Assistant Professor of Interfaith Studies, Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS) and Director of CIRCLE (Center fo Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education)

People of diverse religious backgrounds encounter each other daily in coffee shops, hospitals, classrooms, and around the dinner table. What might these encounters teach us about ourselves, our neighbors, or about God? Drawing on stories from My Neighbor’s Faith (Orbis, 2012), this year's Singh Lecture will explore what these encounters tell us about the nature of transformative interfaith work today.

Responses will be given by Charles Gibbs (Executive Director, United Religions Initiative) and Rebecca Parker (President, Starr King School for the Ministry) with a discussion moderated by Judith Berling (Professor of Chinese and Comparative Religions, GTU). The will be a public reception before the lecture at 6:00PM in the Bade Museum across the Courtyard.

Origins of Catholic-Muslim Dialogue in the United States

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 7:30pm

Encountering Islam: 2013 Lectures and Workshops, Inaugural Lecture by Archbishop Alex J. Brunett. 

Co-sponsored by the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT), Center for Islamic Studies, and the Oakland Diocesan Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

Lecture and Reception at DSPT, 2301 Vine Street, Berkeley. 

Culture and Dignity: Dialogues Between the Middle East and the West

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 7:30pm

by Professor Laura Nader

presented by UC Berkeley’s International House

UC Berkeley International House, Auditorium, 2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley

Robert John Russell publishes new book Time in Eternity

Robert John Russell, the Ian G. Barbour Professor of Theology and Science in residence at the Graduate Theological Union, has published a new book titled Time in Eternity: Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction.

Integrating Practices: Christianity and Buddhism

Daeseop Yi is a Ph.D. candidate who hails from South Korea. He came to study at San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2004 in the Doctor of Ministry program. During his program, he discerned a desire to study more deeply about how transformation within the spiritual process occurs. With this focus he entered the Ph.D. program. “While I was doing coursework in the Christian Spirituality Area, we had to study a religion and a discipline in addition to Christianity.” He became fascinated with Buddhism, he focused on comparing Christian and Buddhist traditions. “I realized that I had been living, integrating, and adopting Buddhist and other Indigenous practices, but studying in an academic way made it really interesting for me.”

Beyond Berkeley: Religion and Cultural Exchange

Courtney Bruntz came to the GTU unsure of exactly what direction she would take. “At that point I was really interested in interreligious work, but thought at some point I would focus solely on Buddhism and the religions of Asia. GTU was a really good place to start that process because of all the different member schools and centers of distinction.” Bruntz’s journey beyond her Lutheran upbringing in Nebraska began at the age of 19 when her sister got married. Her brother-in-law is a third generation Japanese American. She recalls that her brother-in-law’s grandmother kept initiating conversations on the wedding being interreligious and intercultural. “I hadn’t thought about the intersection of two cultures and faith traditions until then. That experience shaped my initial years at college.”

Bridging Religions and Cultures through Art

Montazeri, interested in art from a young age, and herself a calligrapher, came to the U.S. with her husband just over a year ago from Tehran, Iran. Both wanted to study art. When reviewing UC Berkeley’s catalog in art history, she came upon a link to the GTU. “Most interesting to me was the great range in class offerings, from opportunities to study different faith traditions, to religion and art. I thought the GTU was meant for me!

Learning from Different Perspectives

Who among us is good? … and who is “us”?

Nargis Virani, Naomi Seidman, Arthur Holder, Munir Jiwa at the Western Wall in JerusalemLiterary critics and theologians often talk about "interpretive communities" and "capable readers." Who has the ability--and even the right--to interpret a text, especially a sacred text that bears authority in a particular religious tradition?

Last month I participated in a weeklong interreligious Theology Conference at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem along with Naomi Seidman (Director, Center for Jewish Studies), Munir Jiwa (Director, Center for Islamic Studies), and Nargis Virani (visiting faculty, Center for Islamic Studies). The theme of the conference was “What makes a good person?” Small groups involving participants from all three traditions studied key sacred texts together, working both in the original languages and in English translation.

A Maori, An Anglican, A Leader

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